Philosophy of Literature

This class will consider philosophical questions concerning the nature, appreciation and value of literary works, including: What is literature? What distinguishes fiction from creative nonfiction? Do fictional characters exist? Do emotional responses to fiction make sense? Are an author’s intentions relevant to interpreting their work? Can there be more than one correct interpretation of a literary work? Are some works of literature objectively better than others? What, if anything, can we learn from literature? Does reading literature make us morally better people? Is it wrong for non-minority writers to write from the perspective of members of minority groups? The course will cover these and other topics in metaphysics, value theory, philosophy of language and mind and include work by philosophers, literary theorists and creative writers.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: Open to First-Years who have taken one course in philosophy and to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors without prerequisite.

Instructor: de Bres

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall